As we look back at the four years spent in the Maghreb and Malta, as Country Director Marie Francoise-Nelly would like to share some reflections on her work there with the World Bank.

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly |

Jobs and wage growth have been the most important driver of poverty reduction globally, and Central Asia. In Tajikistan, for example, it has cut poverty by about two-thirds since 2003. In…

Lilia Burunciuc |

During a recent trip to a popular tourist enclave in Kazakhstan called Borovoye, I decided to make a stopover in the village of Makinsk, about 150 km north of the capital city Astana. I was keen…

Ato Brown |

Kazakhstan is embarking on several policy and institutional initiatives aimed at closing skill gaps and improving work force productivity. Photo: Maxim Zolotukhin / World Bank Do you remember how…

Aliya Bizhanova |

Numbers don’t lie. That’s why, in our day-to-day lives, we rely heavily on numbers from household surveys, from national accounts, and from other traditional sources to describe the world around…

Giorgia DeMarchi |

It was December 8, 2010, when I boarded a plane after a routine trip to Tunisia.  There was nothing out of the ordinary that would have provided a clue as to the dramatic upheaval to come.   The…

Heba Elgazzar |

My father is a long-distance trucker based in Belarus. As a young girl, I spent long hours on the road with him. I loved traveling to neighboring and faraway cities and—even though I could barely…

Alena Sakhonchik |

The Arab world is in the midst of one of the largest human displacements in modern history, with 14-15 million refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). This number includes over 10 million…

Omer Karasapan |

In many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and in fact around the world, teachers—who play a pivotal role in any effort to improve education quality—have not been officially…

Kamel Braham |

A former hotel owner in one of the region’s major cities, who wants to remain anonymous, tells a story that should have had a happy ending. Her 40-room hotel was doing well. It had built a…

Marc Schiffbauer |